The Portal is Whatcom County’s container village hub, located at the heart of the Downtown Bellingham’s Waterfront. It currently features six local businesses creatively operating out of shipping containers including Kulshan Brewery and a rotating retail shop for local artists, and five food trucks. It’s a place with something for everyone – family friendly, pet friendly, conveniently located, and a unique experience for both visitors and shop-owners alike. Find more information about The Portal on the Port of Bellingham’s website.

Carey Hansen, the Port’s Container Village Manager, shares how The Portal is expanding to include more businesses – especially from the fish, farm, and food communities.

“We’re working with local fishermen, crabbers, and oyster farmers,” she explains. “We have a Pike Place Market theme in mind. We’d love to have this place be run like a co-op, by locals. What we like about that idea is that it allows the participants to be involved and sell their products, but not have to commit so much time and staffing. We envision a year-round market, with maybe a native nursery, and a Youngstock’s-type farm stand. Right now, The Portal is open for three seasons. We have a couple newyear-round businesses opening this spring including Bin 13 Wine Bar and Zeeks Pizza – I see them driving the other businesses to be open year-round.”

Hansen hopes to have the new farm- and fish-stand businesses open and operational in the spring of 2025. Not only will these projects contribute to a more vibrant regional food system, but they will also provide additional sales channels for farmers and fishermen – including access to a bustling new area. “Over the next three years, there will be over 400 new residents on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront, just steps away from The Portal,” Hansen says. “I see that area just booming.”

Farmers, fishermen, and food business owners who are interested in being a part of The Portal are encouraged to reach out to Carey at

Share This

Share this with your friends!